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Pregnant and salty

  1. It is better to avoid excessive use of salt during pregnancy. Salt can cause unpleasant side effects, such as swollen ankles and increased blood pressure. If you are pregnant, it can even lead to growth retardation of the fetus. This may make it better to put the salt shaker aside for a while and limit the snacks and ready meals.


  1. Salt is mainly used in foods as a seasoning. For example, many people like fries better if they have some salt on them. Salt can also enhance other flavors in a product. Eating a lot of salt can lead to habituation. For example, many people find boiled potatoes or vegetables without salt taste bland. If you want to reduce your salt intake, it is therefore advisable to do this gradually. If you reduce the added salt in your potatoes and vegetables by ten percent weekly, the transition will be less severe and the salt reduction will be easier to accept.

Consequences of salt during pregnancy

  1. Too high a salt intake can have negative consequences for the body. If you are pregnant, it can also have negative consequences for the unborn baby.

Increased blood pressure

  1. One of those negative consequences is increased blood pressure. About 15 percent of women who are pregnant for the first time have to deal with high blood pressure. If the blood pressure is increased, the kidneys and liver may not function as well. Blood clotting can also proceed differently than normal. These things can cause the blood supply to the baby to be reduced. Especially early in pregnancy this can lead to growth retardation of the fetus or disturbances in the development of the fetus. Complaints that can arise with high blood pressure during pregnancy are headache, visual disturbances, nausea or tingling fingers. High blood pressure can also cause extra fluid to be retained, causing swollen ankles.

Pregnancy Poisoning

  1. An elevated blood pressure caused by pregnancy is also referred to as pregnancy hypertension or preeclampsia. A severe variant is also called pre-eclampsia. The cause of these disorders is usually not due to a diet with too much salt, but rather due to hereditary predisposition, diabetes or kidney disease.

Other health effects of salt

  1. In addition to the dangers for the unborn child, too high salt intake also has consequences for the health of the mother. High blood pressure can damage blood vessels. The same goes for an increased salt level in the blood. Another advantage of eating less salt is that it reduces the risk of stomach cancer. Finally, salt appears to be bad for the kidneys. The kidneys remove excess salt from the body. If too much salt is continuously present, the kidneys have to work extra hard. This can cause problems especially in people with bad kidneys.

Products containing a lot of salt

  1. By not adding extra salt during preparation, you only limit the salt intake to a small extent. On average, we only get 20 percent of the total salt intake by adding salt while eating or preparing. We get the most salt because we eat salty products. Bread, meat and cheese in particular make an important contribution to salt intake. But also salty snacks or ready-made meals often contain a lot of salt. The table below provides an overview of products that contain a lot of salt. It is better to eat these during pregnancy, but in moderation.

Not enough salt

  1. Although there are often warnings about too high a salt intake, you should be careful not to limit your salt intake too much. The body needs a small amount of salt to function properly.


  1. Iodine is added to table salt. This addition arose because iodine is a rare mineral that is found in few foods. Iodine is essential for brain development and iodine deficiency can lead to stunting and an enlarged thyroid gland. The recommended daily iodine intake is increased for pregnant women. A salt-restrictive diet can cause iodine intake to fall too low, causing iodine deficiency.


  1. A diet with too little salt can cause cholesterol in the blood to rise. High cholesterol can lead to cardiovascular disease. A serious salt deficiency is rare. The body only needs one to two grams of salt per day to function normally. Extra salt may only be necessary in case of excessive sweating, for example due to hot weather or prolonged exercise, or in case of severe diarrhea.

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